The Washington Post

Gingrich works the Tiffany’s angle

Callista sports some excellent bling in Iowa in August. (Scott Olson/GETTY IMAGES)

“Doesn’t the whole thing strike you as stupid?” he told CBS in an interview. Then Gingrich, as no one else can, deftly spun the “issue” into a brilliant 90-second attack on President Obama — who wasn’t even shopping there — for promoting “class warfare” and undermining all things good and decent in America.

He wrapped it all up by harrumphing: “I don’t think politicians or the news media have the right to decide how people spend, what they decide to spend, if it’s their money.”

Gingrich — his solid boost in the polls of late is partly due to his wonderful ability to pivot this way — of course knows that the media have always — certainly since Pat Nixon’s “Republican cloth coat”and before — reported where presidential candidates and spouses shop, what they, and even their friends and relatives, buy, wear, drive, eat — at home or out, watch — movies, plays, TV and sports — and where they vacation and get their coifs clipped (see Edwards, John and Clinton, Bill).

So either the former history professor has a serious case of amnesia or he’s still just the old, masterful pol we’ve come to know and love.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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